My concern for paying attention to mental health has always been high. With the current crisis, it is imperative. Turbulent times are more triggering for those who struggle with finding emotional balance. Furthermore, we cannot separate the mind from the body, and for this reason we must be diligent to consistently reset our mind from fear.
Here, I review the current epidemic of mental health and why it is essential to address it.
I also provide a link to my two publications in NaturalPath that further discuss the importance of paying more attention to mental health and holistically supporting the mind-body.
The Mental Health Epidemic
Recently, a study looked at burnout in frontline healthcare workers during the current crisis. For the study, researchers outlined how fatigue and burnout were negatively impacting intensive care unit (ICU) workers and provided steps to mitigate these detrimental symptoms.
This intense stress on those on the frontline, and in the population in general, is likely contributing to changes in the brain that can have long-term implications, including increasing the risk for chronic physical symptoms. Furthermore, several studies have shown that there are associations between mental health status and disease risk.
Many in the mental health field are warning the public that the next epidemic may be a mental one. On a recent interview on Medscape, three experts discussed this next wave. Highlights included:
- On the basis of experience with other pandemics and natural disasters, as many as 50% of people may experience anxiety, depression, and some post-traumatic stress symptoms.
- People who have preexisting mental health conditions, particularly anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse, and obsessional or phobic disorders, will probably have an exacerbation of symptoms due to the pandemic.
- If patients become anxious, irritable, worried, unable to concentrate, and unable to sleep, health professionals may want to recommend mental health counseling. (source)
In another article on Medscape, experts further explained that if what was experienced in the past regarding crises holds, “deaths of despair and an increase in substance use will occur, and at higher rates due to the “triple trouble:’”
…we have to wonder how the pandemic will influence rates of substance use in our country, and in turn, deaths of despair. Sadly, unless somehow mitigated, the numbers are likely to increase. We may be in for a perfect storm of factors driving substance abuse rates higher than we have seen before—the “triple trouble” of a pandemic, unemployment, and diminished personal and community supports. In conducting their research, Case and Deaton found a robust correlation between unemployment/ economic insufficiency and rising death rates among people ages 25-55, especially men.
According to a recent article by Amen Clinics, current statistics are echoing these concerns:
- 45% of Americans say the situation is impacting their mental health
- a 34% increase in anti-anxiety medications
- a 19% rise in antidepressant prescriptions
- increased phone-ins to suicide hotlines
Why Now It’s Especially Imperative to Pay Attention to Mental Health
In my recent publication on NaturalPath, I dive more into this next epidemic and why we need to take our mental temperature and consider the wellbeing of our brains.
Topics I discuss in the article include:
- The prevalence of mental health conditions
- The unique needs for those with addictions, substance use disorders, and mood imbalances
- The additional strain on practitioners
- The potential rise in suicides and a plan to remediate risks
- An international guide for the psychological response to the crisis
- Why we need to take a holistic approach to mental health
- Paying attention to our mental temperature
- Ensuring the treatment isn’t worse than the illness
- Mental health and uplifting resources
Why SickCare Needs Holistic Health
Recently, it has been found that minority and low-income populations are getting the hardest hit by the crisis. (source, source, source) In my second article on NaturalPath, I discuss social determinants of health that are often ignored when we are evaluating healthcare.
I discuss the sociogenomics impact of health, caring for the caregivers, and a vision for changing healthcare.
Nourishing Your Mind and Body Webcast Series
Recently, I held my first series in my Nourishing the Mind and Body Series.
Thank you for all those who attended.
We discussed using essential oils to soothe the mind-body.
I will be having more informative meetings in the future that will focus on how we can continue to be more mindful in addressing all aspects of holistic health.
In an upcoming article, I will highlight 10 ways to keep calm during trying times.
My goal is to continue to support you at all levels of health through this transition and “new normal.”
Feel free to share your thoughts and comment below.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
For additional safety and medical information, visit my essential oils database. It includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.
Please be extra cautious and be sure to check with your doctor if you have a seizure disorder. The Epilepsy Society of the UK lists certain essential oils implicated for their antiseizure effect as well as those that have stimulating properties.
If you and/or your physician are interested in consulting with me to assist with supporting the integration of essential oils safely into a therapeutic protocol, essential oils consultations are available.